Memorial Day names: Baby naming in 1868

Posted in Name my baby
by Lorain County Moms


Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868, and first observed on May 30 of that year, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.

So this year, instead of looking back again at the names of Civil War generals and such, I thought it could be more enlightening to look instead at well-known people (with interesting names) who were born in 1868 — giving us a bird’s-eye view of some aspects of post-Civil War baby naming, both in America and elsewhere.


  • ALEEN Cust, first British female veternarian
  • ALIDA B. Jones, early movie actress
  • ALMA Kruger, Shakespearean actress, later featured in Dr. Kildare movies
  • DIXIE Selden, American portrait painter
  • EDITH Holloway, British Woman’s chess champion
  • ELEANOR Porter, author of Pollyanna
  • ELLA Gaunt Smith, innovative doll maker, first to market black dolls in the South
  • EUGENIE Besserer, silent screen actress, played the mother in The Jazz Singer
  • EVANGELINE Smith, best known astrologer of her day
  • FLORA Call Disney, mother of Walt
  • HENRIETTA Swan Leavitt, American astronomer
  • HOPE Goddard Iselin, first woman to crew in the America’s Cup yacht race
  • JANE Avril, French can-can dancer made famous by Toulouse-Lautrec
  • JENNINGS Carmichael, Australian poet
  • KATTI (born Catherine) Mxller, Norwegian feminist, children’s right advocate and pioneer of reproductive rights
  • LOYOLA O’Connor, early film actress
  • MARTHA Woolstein, first woman member of the American Pediatric Association
  • MAUD Humphrey, American commercial artist and mother of Bogey
  • MAUDE Turner Gordon, American stage and screen actress
  • PHILIPPA Fawcett, English mathematician
  • RHETA Childe Dorr, author and social worker


  • ALBERTUS Catlin, naval hero
  • ALONZO Clark, American politician, governor of Wyoming
  • AUGUST Horch, founder of Audi
  • AXEL Hagerstrom, Swedish philosopher
  • BAJO Topulli, Albanian freedom fighter
  • BERNARR Macfadden, early proponent of physical culture and bodybuilding; magazine publisher
  • BORIS Thomashefsky, one of the biggest stars of the Yiddish theater
    CAI Yuanpei, influential Chinese educator
  • CAMILLO Olivetti, Italian engineer, founder of Olivetti & Co.
  • COMFORT A. Adams, important experimental engineer
  • CONSTANTINE I, King of Greece
  • CUNO Amiet, Swiss artist, a pioneer of modern art in Switzerland
  • EDGAR Lee Masters, major American poet, author of Spoon River Anthology
  • EDMOND Rostand, author of Cyrano de Bergerac
  • EDOUARD Vuillard, major French painter and printmaker
  • EMANUEL Lasker, world chess champion for 27 years
  • EMILE Bernard, noted French Post-Impressionist painter
  • FELIX Hoffman, German chemist who invented aspirin — and heroin
  • GASTON Leroux, author of The Phantom of the Opera
  • HAMISH MacCunn, Scottish romantic composer
  • HARDEE Kirkland,silent screen actor and director
  • HARLEY Payne, pro baseball player who pitched for the Brooklyn Bridegrooms
  • HARRY Alonzo Longabaugh, the Sundance Kid
  • HARVEY Firestone, rubber tire baron
  • KORBINIAN Brodmann, important German neurologist
  • MAGNUS Hirschfeld, German physician and sex researcher and early gay rights activist
  • MAXIM (born Aleksei) Gorky, Russian author and a founder of socialist realism; political activist
  • MILES Poindexter, US Senator from Washington
  • REN Shields, American musician, co-wrote “In the Good Old Summertime.”
  • RHODY Hathaway, silent film actor
  • ROMAINE Fielding, early film actor
  • ROYAL S. Copeland, US Senator from New York
  • SCOTT Joplin, the “King of Ragtime”
  • SEWELL Ford, American novelist ad short story writer
  • SKYROCKET (born Samuel) Smith, Major League first baseman
  • SNITZ (!!!) Edwards, silent movie character actor
  • SOLON Borglum, American sculptor who worked on Mount Rushmore

Nameberry (http://nameberry.com) is a baby-naming site produced by Pamela Redmond Satran and Linda Rosenkrantz, co-authors of 10 bestselling baby name guides, including the newest, “Beyond Ave and Aiden: The Enlightened Guide to Naming Your Baby.”

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